In honor of Holocaust Awareness Week, at 11 a.m. Sunday, Beth David Congregation at 2625 SW Third Ave., will have a commemorative Torah Writing Day to honor Holocaust survivors and their families. One of the Holocaust survivors is a Torah that was written in 1890 and rescued in 1945, when it was found in the village of Mlanda Vozice, Czechoslovakia, about 40 miles from Prague. Now the property of Beth David, the Torah is one of only 1,500 Torahs worldwide that survived the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe. It is one of only 500 Torahs that can be koshered (restored following strict standards of production). Beth David has enlisted the services of a sofer (scribe) to help restore the Torah. The restored Torah will be used at the synagogue’s High Holy Day services.
According to information from Beth David, during the Holocaust, the Germans confiscated Torahs throughout Europe and housed them in Prague. After the war, the Torahs became the responsibility of the Czech government. In 1963, the government secretly transported the Torahs to the Westminster Synagogue in London.
Members of the South Florida community are invited to join Holocaust survivors and their families for the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to write a letter in a rescued Torah, with the help of a sofer.
"History is being made and there will be much emotion in having survivors and the community make a Torah rescued from the Holocaust by writing one Hebrew letter at a time," said Rebecca Pfeiffer, chairwoman of the Torah Restoration Project. "The sofer will teach us how a Torah is written and restored. this will be a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity... those participating will have a memory never to be forgotten. ... By restoring the Torahs, we are preserving forever the hope of the Jewish people."
Prior to the event, a VIP breakfast will be at 9 a.m. and will feature state Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Surfside, and other political leaders. The breakfast program will feature the Sona String Quartet performing music that was composed during the Holocaust. A sofer will also speak on how a Torah is koshered
The synagogue celebrated its centennial in 2012. The Torah writing day is a part of its "Next Century of Learning: Embracing Our Past, Building Our Future" for a new technology center for students of the Beth David Gordon Schools and the synagogue.
The South Florida community is invited to the event. To make reservations for the VIP breakfast and learn more about Torah Writing Day, call 305-854-3911, ext. 200 or go to www.bethdavidmiami.org.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal celebrates 50 years
Congratulations to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at Southwest 144th St. and Old Cutler Road, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. A religious celebration will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, led by Bishop Leo Frade of the Diocese of Southeast Florida. He will celebrate with communion and will welcome the newly confirmed and those celebrating their first communion.
Retired Bishop Calvin Schofield, who celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priesthood last January, is St. Andrew’s first priest. The church is his first parish.
A Celebration Luncheon will follow the service in the church’s parish hall.
Bells will ring at Trinity Cathedral
On Saturday and Sunday, the downtown community will enjoy three hours of uninterrupted bell-ringing at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday the Cathedral Bells will be rung in thanksgiving for the wedding of James Thomas Langfitt and Veronica Nur Valdes.
On Sunday, the bells will be rung immediately following the 12:15 p.m. Spanish service, in memory of Jay W. Lotspeich, a longtime benefactor of the Cathedral and Bell Tower. The bands on both days will include ringers from the Washington, D.C., Ringing Society, the Trinity Wall Street, N.Y., Change Ringers, the North Georgia Change Ringers and the Miami Guild of Change Ringers. All the bands are members of the North American Guild of Change Ringers.
According to a newsletter from the cathedral, this will be a unique experience for those who have never experienced it.
Also, the regular schedule of Choral Evensong will resume at 6 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Cathedral. Choral Evensongs will be on the second and fourth Sundays of the month and will be sung by the Anglican Chorale. The service of Choral Evensong includes congregational hymns, choral chants and anthems, scripture readings and prayers. Evensong is regarded by some as one f the most beautiful and prayerful liturgies in the Anglican tradition, especially as celebrated in cathedrals.
The Choral Evensong on April 28, will be at the Church of the Resurrection at 11173 Griffing Blvd. in Biscayne Park.
Doctors to speak at health fair
You ae invited to the Fifth Family Health Fair presented by the Coral Way United Methodist Church, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 20. The reason for the clinic is to "ensure that the families of our community receive important healthcare screenings and preventive information for healthier lives, " said Jose Nunez a member of the church.
"We will be providing free health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, osteoporosis, neurological assessment (spinal screenings), dental health and more."
In addition, there will be a variety of information booths and lectures by: Dr. Julian Torres and Dr. Carlos Felipe Dominguez on "Cardiovascular Disease"; Dr. Vicente Martinez-Cardenas on "Bully (School and Cyber)"; Dr. Ivette Rojas on "Osteoporosis,”; and Maria Diaz on "Social Security Benefits".
There will also be free mammography vouchers for those who qualify, and prizes and giveaways such as bicycle helmets for children (first come, first served), fingerprinting services, a bounce house, face painting and a playground.
The church is at 7900 SW 24th St.
Speaker at Unity on the Bay
The 2013 Speaker Series at Unity on the Bay at 411 NE 21st St., will feature speaker and author Robert V. Taylor from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Taylor will speak on the topic, "A New Way to be Human: Seven Pathways to Becoming Fully Alive."
Tickets are $25 each and are available at unityonthebay.org. For more information call 305-573-9191.